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'Administration did nothing to control it': Delhi's Gargi College girls allege sexual assault as cops watched

Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of SC/ST Amendment Act

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutional validity of the SC/ST Amendment Act, 2018, and said a court can grant anticipatory bail only in cases where a prima facie case is not made out.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said a preliminary inquiry is not essential before lodging an FIR under the act and the approval of senior police officials is not needed.

Justice Ravindra Bhat, the other member of the bench, said in a concurring verdict that every citizen needs to treat fellow citizens equally and foster the concept of fraternity.


Justice Bhat said a court can quash the FIR if a prima facie case is not made out under the SC/ST Act and the liberal use of anticipatory bail will defeat the intention of Parliament.

The top court's verdict came on a batch of PILs challenging the validity of the SC/ST Amendment Act of 2018, which was brought to nullify the effect of the apex court's 2018 ruling, which had diluted the provisions of the stringent Act.


UP minister seeks ban on burqa

Agra: UP minister Raghuraj Singh has kicked up another controversy by demanding a ban on burqas worn by Muslim women.

The minister said that burqas were being used by ‘terrorists’ to conceal their identity, apparently in reference to protests by women protesting against CAA in the Shahjamal area in Agra.

The minister further explained that wearing a burqa started in Arabian countries and is not an Indian custom. He added India should ban its use and pointed out that even Sri Lanka had banned it after a series of bomb blasts ripped the country last year, leaving many dead and injuring scores of people.
Reacting to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remark that “youth will hit him (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) with sticks”, Raghuraj Singh said Modi and Yogi Adityanath are the icons of the nation and no one will tolerate such talk.

This is not the first time when the minister has made a controversial statement. He had earlier said people raising slogans against Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath “would be buried alive”. He had said this while addressing a rally in Aligarh to create awareness about the CAA.

He had also said that anti-national elements will ‘die a dog’s death’.


‘You can’t block entire city’: SC to Shaheen Bagh

NEW DELHI: Making a significant observation on Shaheen Bagh protests, the Supreme Court, on Monday, said “you can’t block public roads indefinitely”, and the “protests can’t continue like this on public places”.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph issued notices to Delhi Police and scheduled the next hearing on February 17.
Justice Kaul said the protests have gone into many days, there must a designated area to protest, “you just cannot block the road. There cannot be indefinite period of protest in public area. Then, everybody will protest everywhere”, added Kaul.

The apex court observed that protests cannot be carried out at the cost of citizens’ interest.

The observation from the apex court came after counsel for Bhim Army Chief Chandershekhar Azad contended that the matter is about balancing rights.

Justice Joseph also agreed with this observation on blocking a public road. “Can you block the public road”, said Justice Joseph.

Justice Kaul also observed that protests cannot be carried out in parks too, and there should be defined area to hold protests.

Advocate Amit Sahni had moved the apex court seeking directions to the authorities to remove the blockade on the Shaheen Bagh stretch, a main road connecting Kalindi Kunj and Noida.

The protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) is continuing since December 15.

Chandrashekhar Azad has announced that he would now intensify the ongoing agitation against CAA-NRC-NPR.

Chandrashekhar, who was in Varanasi to attend the Ravidas Jayanti celebrations at Seer Govardhanpur on Sunday, told reporters that, “No court has barred me from holding agitation. In a democratic set-up, I am free to go anywhere I want. I am frequenting Shaheen Bagh (in Delhi) and Bhim Army volunteers are there for the security of women protesters.”


Polling begins for 70 Delhi Assembly seats

New Delhi: Polling for the 70 Assembly seats in Delhi began at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

The Aam Aadmi Party, BJP and Congress are the top three contenders in the fray.

The results for the elections will be announced on February 11.
1.4 crore eligible voters
It may be mentioned that over 1.4 crore people, who are eligible to vote in the Delhi Assembly election, will choose 70 MLAs today.

Out of the total number of eligible voters — 1,47,86,382, there are 81,05,236 male voters and 66,80,277 female voters. Besides this, there are 869 third gender voters.

As many as 13,571 polling stations have been created at 2,688 locations across the city. Out of these, 3,141 are critical polling stations and 144 are vulnerable polling stations.
Security arrangements
As many as 190 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been deployed for the smooth conduct of the Delhi Assembly election today. Besides this, 19,000 Home Guards and 42,000 Delhi Police personnel are deployed at polling booths across the national capital.

“We have 190 companies of CAPF, who are regularly patrolling to ensure peace and tranquillity in the city,” Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner, Intelligence, Delhi Police, told ANI earlier.

The seven main divisions of CAPF are Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security Guards (NSG) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).


This time, 2,04,830 voters are above the age of 80, while 147 voters are above the age of 100. The oldest voter is 110-year-old Kalitara Mandal, a resident of Greater Kailash.
Also, there would be additional staff from the PCR, Traffic, and Communication in addition to the staff deployed to man the polling booths.

All five polling stations in Shaheen Bagh have been declared ‘critical’ by Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

It is to be noted that during the 2019 General Elections, 47 companies of CAPF were deployed. The Delhi Assembly election has seen an escalation in CAPF deployment almost four times making it 190 companies.

A total number of 3,141 critical polling stations have been identified along with 144 vulnerable polling stations and 102 expenditure sensitive pockets.

Campaigning for Delhi Assembly polls came to a close on Thursday putting an end to rallies and road-shows by leaders of different parties.

Result of last elections
In the last elections, the AAP had registered a landslide victory by winning 67 seats. The BJP had won 3. The Congress didn’t open its account.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is hoping to retain power for the second consecutive term.

Similarly, the BJP is hopeful to return to power by cashing in on the aura of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hard work done by Home Minister Amit Shah along with party chief JP Nadda.

The Congress, which was in power for 15 years at a stretch in Delhi under the leadership of former Chief Minister late Sheila Dixit till the party lost to AAP in 2015 polls, is hoping for a revival.
AAP is contesting on all 70 seats, while the BJP has fielded its candidates on 67 seats and has left three seats for its allies — two for JD-U and one for LJP. On the other hand, Congress is contesting on 66 seats and has given four seats to its ally RJD.



Kashmiri youth killed following brawl in Rajasthan

New Delhi: Basit Khan a Kashmiri youth became the latest victim of ongoing hate crime against Muslims.
20-year-old Basit was a resident of Kunan village of Kupwara, North Kashmir.

Beaten ruthlessly
He was beaten ruthlessly in Jaipur, Rajasthan, following a verbal argument on late night 5 February.
Basit was working in an event management company’s catering wing and the argument started after he left a party in the Harmada area of Jaipur.

After the brawl, Khan reached his rented room near Railways Station and started vomiting. When he was taken to Sawai Mann Singh Hospital, the doctors admitted him for internal injuries.

Succumbed to injuries
He reportedly died of blood clotting in his skull on late Thursday night, 6th February.

Khan had left for Jaipur to work with his uncle, Fayaz Ahmad, after August 2019 due to the clampdown in Kashmir Valley.

“His father died in 2010 and he was the only breadwinner of his family,” said Fayaz to the Kashmir wala.

His father Khurshid Khan was a soldier in the Indian Army before he died a natural death in 2012 at his home while on vacation. Khan who is survived by one brother, five sisters and his mother, aspired to join the army, his family and friends said.

Station House Office, Hamrana area, Ramesh Saini, confirmed the death and said that one accused has been taken into custody.


JEE Main April 2020 registration begins – Here’re steps to apply

New Delhi: JEE Main April 2020 registration started on 7th February. The last date to apply for the examination is 7th March.
National Testing Agency released the online application form yesterday.

It may be mentioned that the admit card for JEE Main April 2020 will be released on 16th March 2020. The examination is scheduled to be held on 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th April.
Candidates can view their results on 30th April 2020.
Steps to apply for JEE Main April 2020:

Visit the official website of JEE (click here).
Click on ‘Application form for JEE (Main) April 2020’ link.
Candidates have to click on ‘Fresh registration only’ link if they have not registered or appeared for JEE (Main) January 2020.
Candidates can click on ‘Apply with JEE (Main) January 2020 credentials’ link if they have appeared for JEE (Main) January 2020.
For fresh registration, fill the online application form, upload scanned photo & signature and pay the examination fee.
Candidates who have appeared in JEE (Main) January 2020 can log in by providing details.

Socialist Party (India) condemns attempts to disturb the peaceful nature of ongoing anti-CAA movement

Zuhair Turabi <z

Demands government must take action against all those who have made violent, provocative and misleading statements against the protestors

There have been three attacks on anti-CAA protestors by armed men in the last four days. This violence is clearly an outcome of the irresponsible and incendiary statements by numerous politicians and public figures associated with the ruling party in response to the ongoing nationwide agitation against the CAA. There has been a tireless campaign in the press and on social media to project the protestors as either unintelligent and ill-informed or as heartless enemies of the nation, and there have been many calls for violent action to be taken against them.

At a recent election rally in Delhi, union minister and BJP MP Anurag Thakur led the crowd in chanting “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maro saalon ko!” (Shoot those who are enemies of the nation). The BJP’s West Bengal state president Dilip Ghosh also threatened to shoot and kill those involved in damaging public property during the protests, “like it was done in Uttar Pradesh”. He stated that the protestors should have been “shot like dogs”.

Instead of introspecting on the many concerns about the CAA being raised by people from all regions of the country and all sections of society, the government has chosen to embark on a spree of brutal repression - lathi-charging peaceful protestors, making arbitrary arrests and abusing and torturing detainees. Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of UP, has issued notices to the families of suspected protestors asking for lakhs of rupees as compensation for the damages done to public property during the protests.

There is a clear Islamophobic undertone in all of these statements and actions, and Muslims have been frequently singled out as targets of abuse and violence. In fact, most of those who have been killed and arrested during the protests have been Muslims.

The refusal of the BJP leadership to give legitimacy to and engage with protestors, who have by and large been peaceful in putting forth their demands, is a reflection of its essentially undemocratic and authoritarian worldview. This contemptuous and cold-blooded response has influenced public perception of the protestors and the nature of their demands, and incited radical elements to violence.

The Socialist Party (India) condemns these attempts to disturb the peaceful nature of ongoing the anti-CAA movement and demands that the government must take action against all those who have made violent, provocative and misleading statements against the protestors.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Sandeep Pandey
Vice President, Socialist Party (India)
Twitter: @spiinfo, @sandeep4justice


CBI’s trap to nab Dy CM Sisodia’s OSD with middleman’s arrest

New Delhi: Just two days ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in Delhi, the CBI working under the current central government’s Ministry of Personnel have made a high profile arrest yesterday arresting Delhi Deputy CM’s OSD on charges of bribery.

Gopal Krishna Madhav, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia has been nabbed in an alleged bribery case of Rs 2 lakh.

According to sources, the CBI received a tip-off that OSD Madhav, who works with the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Department was demanding the illegal gratification for not charging tax from transporters.

The silent operation by CBI commenced on February 5 following which the officials nabbed an individual named Dheeraj Gupta from Delhi.

During the interrogation, the arrested individual revealed basic information which helped in laying a trap for OSD Madhav.

Dheeraj confessed that he worked as a middleman and collected bribes from transporters on the behalf of OSD Gopal Krishna Madhav said the CBI sources.
The agency has kept Madhav under constant surveillance for two days  February 5 and 6 before his arrest.

It was after getting the lead, the CBI sleuths nabbed OSD to Gopal Krishna Madhav on Thursday night.

In the specific case, in which Madhav was arrested, the CBI said the OSD received a bribe of Rs 2.26 lakh for not charging GST from a transporter.

Dheeraj has been sent to judicial custody by a special CBI court while Madhav will be produced before the court on February 7.

“CBI has arrested Dheeraj Gupta, private person, who is a resident of Delhi and Gopal Krishna Madhav, Goods and Services Tax Officer in Trade and Taxes Department of Government of NCT Delhi who is also the OSD to Deputy CM of Delhi in a bribery case of Rs. 2.26 lakh,” CBI spokesperson said.

“It was alleged that the private person (Gupta) was acting as a middleman on behalf of some GST department officers including for the public servant (Madhav) for collecting illegal gratification from transporters for not charging GST from them,” the CBI spokesperson said.

Reacting to the development, Deputy CM Sisodia tweeted, “I have come to know that the CBI has arrested a GST inspector while taking bribe. This officer was posted as OSD in my office too. CBI should ensure strictest punishment for him. I have got several such officers arrested during last five years.”

Stones pelted at bus carrying Ravish Kumar

Gorakhpur: Unidentified people pelted stones at a UP government bus, which was carrying Ramon Magsaysay award-winning journalist Ravish Kumar. A passenger was injured in the incident.

The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus was attacked while passing through the Kusmhi jungle area on Tuesday night.
According to SHO Ravi Kant, a glass pane was broken resulting in the injury of a person. All passengers were transferred to another bus after first aid was given to the injured passenger. Police investigation has been launched using CCTV footage.

NDTV India journalist Ravish Kumar later posted pictures of the bus on Facebook, claiming that many passengers called the 112 helpline but to no avail. He then rang up Gorakhpur’s Senior Superintendent of Police, whose public relations officer took the call. The police then reached the spot.

Gorakhpur SSP Sunil Kumar Gupta told that the motive for the attack can only be found after an investigation. He assured that no culprit will be spared.


An FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by bus driver Awadh Bihari.